Andrew O'Brien

Partner

Drew O’Brien is a trusted communications advisor with deep experience counseling global corporate clients. Through decades of service in the public and private sectors, he has developed numerous specialties, including public affairs, crisis communications, strategic counsel, executive visibility and thought leadership.

As a Partner at Seven Letter, Drew advises global brands on the execution of comprehensive communications plans to solve their unique challenges.

Formerly Executive Vice President and Managing Director at Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW), Drew lead the firm’s business throughout the Northeast region, including management of the firm’s single largest global corporate client. Concurrent with that role, Drew also served as President of Direct Impact, BCW’s grassroots communications and advocacy practice.


Immediately prior to entering the private sector in 2016, Drew served as Secretary John Kerry’s Special Representative for Global Partnerships at the US Department of State. Under Drew’s leadership and with the engagement of a cross-section of private companies and NGOs, the Office of Global Partnerships played a major role in the US Water Partnership, the Secretary’s Our Oceans Conference, the Global Entrepreneurship Summit and the US response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa in 2014. Throughout the course of his tenure at State, Drew joined a leadership team which leveraged over $800 million in public and private resources with over 1600 partners around the world.


Prior to his service at the Department of State, Drew held several positions in public service, including State Director and Senior Advisor to US Senator John Kerry, Special Assistant to Mayor Thomas M. Menino of Boston, Executive Director of Mayor Menino’s Office of Neighborhood Services, Special Assistant to the Director of the Boston Redevelopment Authority, Chief of Staff to the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission and Deputy Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Boston.


Drew has also worked on numerous political campaigns at the local, state and national levels throughout his career, including in several capacities during John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign in Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, as well as at the Democratic National Convention in Boston.


Additionally, he has lectured on politics and government at colleges and universities in Massachusetts and throughout the country. In 2007, Drew was named one of the city’s “Ten Outstanding Young Leaders” by the Boston Jaycees and in 2009 he was named one of Massachusetts’ “Top Ten Political Operatives” by Campaigns and Elections Magazine. Drew was the recipient of the Chancellor’s Medal from the University of Massachusetts Medical School for work in response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake and in January of 2017, he was presented with the State Department’s Distinguished Service Award by Secretary Kerry.


Drew holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and a Master of Public Administration degree from Northeastern University.


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